Critics of British rule in the Sudan allege that the failure to integrate the North and South into a viable nation was a direct consequence of the Southern Policy. According to these critics, the natural and peaceful evolution of an Arabic speaking Islamic Sudan was prevented by this policy and the seeds of religious discord sown in the mission schools. According to these criticisms, the British intentionally created a spirit of division between the North and South for their own benefit. The imposition of the Southern Policy with its artificial differences led to the sense of hostility which erupted into civil war in 1955. After considering the evidence presented in the preceding chapters, do these allegations have any validity?

     The failure of national integration, as defined in Chapter I, is a fact. What must be determined in these conclusions is to what extent, if any, this failure can be attributed to the British, their Southern Policy, and the missions as educational support for the Southern Policy. The evidence in Chapters 111 through VI indicates that the critics of the British may be indulging in a form of "devil" theory, i.e., using an external factor to camouflage the possibility that the 17-year long civil war was a product of the internal processes causing the history of the Sudan. The published works of M. O. Beshir, L. A. Fabunmi, and M. A. Rahim are illustrative of


this sort of "devil" theory of causation. [1]

     Since the failure of national integration in the Sudan is not a topic of general concern to the academic community, the works of these men are the only ones available to the concerned person. This is compounded by the marginality of the Sudan within the contemporary framework of area studies as it tends to fall outside the focus of both Middle Eastern and African area studies. As a consequence, there are few analytical works dealing with the problems which affected the formation of an independent Sudan, there are even fewer not written by Sudanese authors. Of the three cited authors, Beshir and Rahim are northern Sudanese while Fabunmi is a Nigerian. They are engaged in the description of events which have borne directly on the shaping of their nation in their lifetime. Can African authors and especially Sudanese ones deal objectively with such an important aspect of the evolution of the nation? Fabunmi and Rahim are concerned with the general problem of political formation in the Sudan as influenced by Great Britain's imperial concerns; only Beshir addresses him- . self specifically to the question of education as one of the most important factors in political formation. Thus, while dominating the field of political formation and national integration in the Sudan, none of these works can be described as objective. [2]

     Basically, these critics develop their arguments historically: there was a Sudan, it fell under foreign domination, liberated itself, was reconquered and subjected to a policy which was designed


to divide the cultural, religious and ethnic components and set them against each other to facilitate their subjection, a reunification was attempted after independence but failed due to the divisive policies practiced during this second period of foreign domination. M. A. Rahim condemns the Southern Policy as the factor most responsible for the Sudan's disunity. [3] L. A. Fabunmi argues that "unity of the Nile Valley," "Cape to Cairo" and Suez overshadowed the British concern for internal Sudanese affairs and resulted in conscious and unconscious victimization of the Sudan in the interests of Imperial strategy. The Condominium was not central to the Empire's well being; its development and its future were negotiating chips in the Foreign Office's ongoing debate with an emerging Egypt. [4] M. O. Beshir contends that education was used as a political instrument to artificially maintain the North-South division. The practice of sending secondary school students from the South to Uganda rather than Khartoum was one way of achieving a division. Another allegation made by Beshir and echoed by northern Sudanese until today is that the divisions were maintained by the missionaries who kept alive the issue of slavery and fanned the fears of a Mahdist-type re-enslavement of the South if the North were to dominate an independent Sudan. [5]

     Influenced by the arguments, the non-African with an interest in the history of national integration in the Sudan is often sympathetic to the anti-British tone of the above-mentioned critics. This sympathy is more often the result of ignorance or ideological


bias and not objective perspective. When a counter is offered based on the British record, it is often dismissed with contempt. It is not fashionable to defend colonialism. This contempt results from the subjective and exculpatory nature of what British historiography there is on the movement of the Condominium toward independence. The bulk of published non-African writing on national integration in the Sudan is based on memoirs, diaries, private documents and government publications and has been produced by former members of the Sudan Political Service. With the exception of P. M. Holt, one can only reflect that the subjectivity of British rulers is likely to be no more or less than that of the Sudanese ruled. [6]

     From 1930 to 1946 the Southern Policy was,. theoretically, the primary guide for government activity in the South. The assumption of the critics mentioned above is that this policy was formulated, promulgated, implemented and continually pursued in a uniform manner throughout the southern provinces for the entire 1930 to 1946 period. [7] The critics further allege that the British intention was to separate the two regions and to create or maintain, primarily through education, southern fear of and hostility to the North so that the South could eventually be detached and become a part of British East Africa. What must be emphasized is that the Southern Policy was an expression of the apprehensions and desires of the Sudan Political Service, especially the Governor-General, Sir John Maffey, and the Civil Secretary, Sir Harold MacMichael. This policy was the result of secret discussions; it was subject


to a variety of interpretations by its executors, and was conducted very haphazardly. The Southern Policy was subject to a variety of personalities and opinions and never became a single concrete reality. [8] The argument that the British arrested a strong southward movement of Arab culture, Arabic language, and the Muslim faith is opposed by a number of notable figures. G. N. Sanderson points out that for four hundred years the Southern Nilotes had fiercely and successfully resisted all attempts to integrate them into a northern-dominated sociopolitical entity. Richard Hill made much the same point during discussions of the Southern Policy and the published works dealing with the early modern history of the South all confirm a strong sense of rejecting not only the North, but all outside influence. [9] It appears that the anti-British critics may be guilty of arguing a non-existent case.

Northern Sudanese, with the exception of a few intellectuals, have never faced realistically the lack of historic and cultural community with the South. They have tended to hold British colonialism responsible for the differences that existed. After the departure of the British, the missionaries and "neocolonial" influences, such as the United States and Israel, were blamed. While foreign influences may have exacerbated basic ethnic differences, they do not deserve all the blame for a divided Sudan .... Hostility and suspicion- have compounded on both sides and demonstrated that racialism can confound human reason even among those recently freed from western imperialism. Antagonisms of this nature are the most destructive of consensus. [9]

     Divisions did exist within the boundaries of the Sudan - they still do. The critics of the British are wrong in blaming them for


creating these divisions. That they maintained them is certainly true for this was the essence of the Southern Policy. The South had been raided and enslaved by the North throughout the nineteenth century. Slaves had been taken by nomads from the North well into the twentieth century. At the beginning of the Condominium, the South was a wreck; it remains much less developed and sophisticated until today. Had it not been for British policy this might not be the case but from the evidence in the preceding chapters, one can appreciate the British point of view. The bulk of the available evidence indicates that divide and rule was not the British intention, yet division resulted from their policy. A recapitulation of British motivations governing their administration of the South is in order so that the intentions and outcomes can be comprehended clearly. [10]

     An important factor in explaining why the British chose to separate the South from the North and why the missions became the sole source of education is simple inertia. The South had always been separate, Arabic had not been spoken nor Islam practiced there, and the Christian missions had been there as far back as the Turkiyya. The Southern Policy, especially the language and educational require ments, maintained and possibly increased the sense of division. This was an unanticipated but nonetheless. real consequence. The exclusion of Arabic and other northern influences was seen by the British not as divisive but as strengthening the fiber and sense of group identity of the South which had always been distinct from the North.


     Inertia was not the only reason for a policy of separatism supported by mission schools. It was obvious to most of the members of the SPS who were involved in the decision-making process that the South would eventually become a part of an independent Sudan. Except for Martin Parr, Governor of Equatoria, there was not any real expectation that the South would be detached from the Condominium and attached to Uganda. [11] Fully aware of the profound lack of political sophistication, economic development and social cohesion in the South, the British sought to structure a program to overcome these perceived deficiencies. In the field of education this meant consolidating tribal identities and languages into a broader southern identity while educating the children of the South toward equality with the North. Complex and fragmented tribal identities would be simplified and the intellectual tools of the English language and a liberal education would enable the South to "stand on its own feet" when independence came and they faced the North. This consolidation and education toward equality posed some problems of principle with certain members of the SPS serving in the South.

     What was known as the "Whipsnade" group saw in this program the destruction of the simple lifestyle of the various tribal societies. The detribalization argument was a persistent theme in correspondence to and from Khartoum. It is difficult to disagree with Robertson's suggestion that if they were to meet the North as equals then the southerners would have to sacrifice some of their


tribalism. [12] The conservative opponents wanted it both ways, a protected South until they had "come along," but a South which had not adjusted its social and intellectual values to deal with a more homogeneous and sophisticated North. The danger of education acting as a disintegrating force in tribal life is complicated by the fact that all Southern education is in the hands of missionary societies to whom the teaching of religion is more important than education. Religion like education must be handled with care if its teaching is to preserve and not disrupt tribal life. [13]

     Educating southerners toward equality with the North while avoiding the disintegrating effects of that education remained a thorny issue throughout the 1930-1940 period and crops up sporadically as late as the 1950s. Conflict within the educational establishment as to the validity of these intentions can be seen in the following: It is desirable to leave him (the southern student) contented with his tribal life and natural environment, while at the same time making him a better tribesman and villager. [14]

     How this approach could have produced a southerner equal to his northern counterpart is difficult to comprehend. In 1937 the Governor-General reported that after more than "thirty years of patient, cautious penetration by officials and ... missionaries" the results were finally beginning to emerge and that the most important one was the "reintegration of a normal tribal life." [15] Evidently there were conflicting goals; consolidation and education toward equality against conservation and the maintenance of the


status_ quo. This lack of consistency in the Government was one of the reasons why the missions were virtually unsupervised until the advent of Cox.

     Education had become a more central concern for the Government in the late 19305. The Roman Catholics were suspect because of Italy's conquest of Abyssinia and, in Egypt, agitation against the Sudan Government's toleration of a Christian monopoly in the South had broken out in 1937. [16] The British were determined to create a distinctly Sudanese ethos which rejected union with Egypt and education could play a powerful part in realizing that goal. ... on nationalist theory, education must have a central position in the work of the state. The purpose of education is not to transmit knowledge, traditional wisdom, and the ways devised by a society for attending to common concerns; its purpose rather is wholly-political, to bend the will of the young to the will of the nation. Schools are instruments of state policy. [17]

     As well as fostering a generally anti-Egyptian attitude in the Sudan, a specific set of attitudes was to be developed in the South. By 1937-1938 the problem of anti-British Arab nationalism had moved up the Nile from Cairo and was beginning to disturb Khartoum. The threat from Egypt: perceived in Khartoum gradually became a threat from the North when perceived in Juba or Wau. The anti-Arabic and covertly anti-Muslim character of the Southern Policy had been designed to exclude Egyptian influence after the. White Flag League disturbances and Stack's assassination in 1924. [18] The threat from Egypt was now a more immediate threat - Arab nationalism was beginning to appeal to the northern Sudanese. The North


was now becoming consciously Muslim, Arab, and anti-British. An additional concern in Khartoum which tended to influence British political thought was the lurking fear of a resurgence of Mahdism. Arab nationalism in the Sudan could, in their opinion, have taken on an especially violent character. MacMichael had expressed this apprehension in one of his memoranda written near the end of his tenure as Civil Secretary:

Moreover, the path, though it is not worth taking (Islam) would carry those that took it into grave dangers. The most serious of these is the automatic extension of the zone in which Islamic fanaticism is endemic to an equally large and far more populous area where at present it is not so. One may vary the metaphor by saying that to encourage the spread of Arabic in the South would be to sprinkle

gunpowder in the neighborhood of a powder magazine, or to sow weeds because they grow more quickly than corn. [19]

     The insulation of the South from Arabic and Islam had become an important political consideration by the beginning of World War II. Education was not effective in meeting these needs. The southerners were still being taught to be Christians first and then to be lower level employees of the Government or the missions. As the table in Chapter IV shows, most of the southern students were simply returning to their villages. The policy was to educate along lines aimed at enhancing the African character of the South so that the imposition of an Arab identity from the North would be impossible.

     The South, according to policy, would send its students to the missions who would teach them political sophistication and competence and would increase their awareness of the cultural complexities of


the contemporary world. All of this would be undertaken so that, when independence came, an African-Arab nation would result. Opponents of the policy disagreed with the means but anticipated the same end. They wanted the South to become a co-equal component of the future African-Arab nation but did not want the education of the South to change or spoil the uniqueness of the picturesque tribal societies there. Most of the British and missionaries seemed blind to the inherent contradiction - detribalization for competence while maintaining the traditional system.

     A minority in the educational establishment, some missionaries and some government personnel, began to grow concerned about the problem of detribalization. Clearly a breakdown in the tribal structure of southern society would weaken the South's resistance to the imposition of an Arab-Islamic identity but to prevent detribalization without halting education seemed impossible. As early as 1932 the problem had manifested itself and the Civil Secretary was being advised that education In the South had reached the point that the "fourth-year boy of the future will not so easily be re-absorbed in the tribe or give up all hope of profitable employment." [20] Their education was going to make them the political equals of the North but was also emphasizing the racial and religious differences. Whether the African tribesman could be educated but retain his identity in the vaguely considered future of the Sudan was problematical but only bothered the few mentioned above. If his identity were sacrificed to the achievements of modern political and administrative skills he would be in danger


of becoming Arabized and a Muslim. if his identity were maintained and the skills neglected, he might become once again Abeed. In the 1930s the detribalization versus education argument provided a suitable philosophical rationale for an open-ended British presence in the South. Whichever way the debate went, a British protectorate of some kind would be required until the end of the twentieth century. [21] As the nationalist pressures from Cairo and Khartoum increased, these philosophical and policy considerations operated to give the British both a threat and a negotiating point. Anti-British nationalism would not be able to remove colonial influence from the Nile Valley as long as the South required special care. Therefore, both Egypt and northern Sudan would be compelled to moderate their nationalist extremism in light of practical realities - they both depended on the flow of the Nile waters.

     In addition to these political considerations there was also a practical reason for the Southern Policy's educational aspects. Throughout the 1930s a common theme of government concern was economy. Provinces were amalgamated, salaries reduced, administrative and educational staff retrenched and development programs postponed. Under an obligation to provide some sort of education In the South, the Government took the cheapest way out and that proved to be mission education. Until financial conditions were improved, the primary concern as far as education was concerned was economy. This meant not only getting a maximum return for a minimum expenditure of funds, but also economy of personnel. Only after


the Williams Report of 1936 and the Cox Reforms of 1938 do we begin to see an increased willingness on the part of the Government to embark upon a more expensive program. By this time the Depression was almost over in Great Britain.


     One of the most difficult things to prove in a court of law is the intention of the accused. The consequences of perpetrators' acts are usually what sway the jury. After the presentation of the evidence contained in the preceding chapters we return to the central question: "Did the failure of national integration in the Sudan and the subsequent civil war result from the British Southern Policy as it was applied by members of the Sudan Political Service and the missions from 1930 to 1946?"

     The concept of national integration discussed in Chapter I identified a number of factors which serve to define the process. At the heart of the problem of national integration in the Sudan is the question of national consensus. Did the British and the missions create a situation where a condition of consensus could emerge? Based on the discussion in Chapter I we could say that the possibility of achieving consensus and encouraging national Integration would have been improved if policy and education had resulted in a common language, religious toleration, a history of peaceful community, recognized geographical or ethnic boundaries, and a mutual respect for majority-minority differences. [22] If policy and education did not produce these results then those


charged with the conduct of policy and provision of education - the British and the missions - must be either partially or completely at fault.

     In considering the evidence we must remember the brief chronology of the Southern Policy and emphasize that its lifespan from MacMichael's memorandum to Robertson's reversal was only 16 years. In the context of post-colonial African development, it appears that "functional change depends on the few, and may often be rapid and easy. Structural change depends on the many, and is slow and painful." [23] Could the structure of the South, the attitudes, values, organization, and psychology of the Dinka, Shilluk, Nuer and lesser tribes, have been changed in 16 years? If not, then the Southern Policy may have been contributing to the perpetuation of conditions which predated the British entry. In a limited sense structural changes had begun to manifest themselves by 1946. A restratification of tribal hierarchies was in process with the integration of mission-trained men calling the prevailing patterns of leadership and authority into question. The missionaries were having an effect on the South but not in the sense of a new consciousness. They had become Christians but they did not yet perceive of themselves as "southerners," or Africans. [24]

     They were finally creating a few new men who, given at least another quarter-century, might have served as the nucleus of social transformation toward either a regional or national consciousness. This was not an uncommon role for missionaries:


Missionaries are also largely responsible for the rapidity of restratification which has characterized the process of social change in many African societies. Although they courted chiefs and chiefly families in order to secure toleration...for their activity, missionaries in general were indifferent to the status of converts in traditional society. [25]

     Education was creating detribalized Christians who were beginning to enter positions of leadership in tribal society. Rather than strengthening the tribal groups in the South, these new men would create instability and weaken the South in any future confrontation with the North. The stated aim of the Government and the missions had been to educate the southerners toward equality. The assumption was that, as equals, the North and South could intelligently structure a modus vivendi. There was no evidence in the history of previous relations between the two regions which supported this assumption and, in Africa, the opposite was often the result:

...the processes of ... Western education ... have operated to sharpen previous lines of cleavage or to create new ones, thereby obstructing the process of national unification around new territorial symbols and institutions. This differential development of groups or areas within territories has been malintegrative in two ways: the less developed groups fear domination in the new territorial systems, and the more highly developed groups do not want either their affluence diluted or their traditional status lowered through merger with economically depressed or lower status groups. [26]

     This general criticism seems an accurate reflection of the developing split which came into the open after Robertson reversed the Southern Policy and convened the Juba Conference of 1947.


In considering this split between North and South it is obvious that national consensus had not yet emerged. According to Shepherd (note 22 supra), national consensus can be expected to emerge first among "modernized elites" by which he meant those who were moving away from traditional attachments to tribal and ethnic authority patterns and toward a "loyalty and pride in the new political authority system that has emerged from the nationalist struggle." [27]

     In the case of the Sudan this type of elite was concentrated in Khartoum. In the South the emerging elites had no nationalist focus and were consequently weaker, less in proportion to the population, and oriented more toward Christianity than the national struggle. British policy and mission education had not advocated national consensus for the reasons discussed at length in the preceding chapters: fear of Islamic expansion, Egyptian nationalism, re-enslavement of the South, a fall-back position for the British in the South as a "protectorate" if driven out of the North, etc. Had the British pressed for national consensus or integration, they knew that the "peace and stability" they had struggled so desperately to create in the period before 1928 would have certainly gone up In the smoke of rebellion. "Care and maintenance" had perpetuated a situation inimical to national consensus but it did not create the situation. [28] It seems that the northern Sudanese were the first to recognize the danger of the policy shaping the Sudan's path after World War 11. In a memorandum to the Civil Secretary and devoted to an analysis of the Southern Policy, the Graduates' Congress made the following observations.


If these missionaries had enlightened the Southerners and raised their standard to the level of Northerners, we would not have objected to their presence and would have looked upon them as servants of humanity and civilization. But unfortunately they have done nothing of this sort. On the contrary, the various missionaries working there threaten to create religious differences similar to those to which Europe succumbed in the Middle Ages. The seeds of religious antagonism have been sown in Equatorial Africa in general and in the Southern Sudan in particular. [29]

     Of course the "seeds of religious antagonism" long predated the British. What is important here is how the Northerners perceived the South and its development during the period of the Southern Policy. Choosing to ignore centuries of history, the South appeared to them to have been molded into an alien being; this would have further diminished the potential for integration. National integration was no closer to reality in 1946 than it had been in 1930. A national consensus had not been articulated, encouraged, sought, or even considered. The North and South had evolved along completely different lines; the former in an Arab and Muslim pattern, the latter in a negroid African and pagan or Christian pattern. The centuries of ignorance, hostility and conflict had not yet been fused or submerged into the framework of a national Sudanese consensus.

The Case Against the British

     How did the British view the effects of Southern Policy on the development of postwar Sudan? Did they realize that they had participated in perpetuating a relationship destined to fail? Were they intentionally involved in a weakening of the Sudan's integrative potential? Answers to these questions can be found in interview responses and documents produced by some of the men involved in policy and educational affairs at the close of the war. In a minute from Newbold to Henderson in 1943. the Civil Secretary made a provocative observation:

We are carrying out our written instructions from His Majesty's Government (vide files) whether these conflict with other pronouncements of His Majesty`s Government is a matter of opinion. Our Southern Policy is a short range one, but dangerous. [30] (emphasis in the original)

     In the specific context of education and integration several interesting interview responses were produced, the following are the most relevant: the question was "Did the mission monopoly widen the gap between North and South?" From Janson-Smith, the last British Assistant Director of Education (South):

They (Khartoum Government) never intended to unite the South with the North. Certainly the schools maintained a sense of division.

     From Cox, the often-mentioned Director of Education in the late 1930s:

None of us guessed how strong local rivalries would have been. We thought of the future of the South as an entity, we thought in terms of the North as a sub-nation and the South as a sub-nation. It was like the Scots and the English, the South started later. We thought in terms of its being a junior partner, sort of like an Austro-Hungarian thing. [31]

     The perspective was short range, the approach pragmatic, the anticipated outcomes vague to the point of non-existence. The following synopsis of documents supports the preliminary conclusions drawn from the interview responses. In the matter of


developing the South toward equal competence with the North and of instilling some sort of national consensus, there is no evidence that the British had either intention. The Southern Policy of the British combined with their conservatism, small numbers, and unconscious arrogance, had arrested southern development while the North forged ahead. An interesting possibility which emerges when British intentions are considered, is that the missionaries may have been pursuing a more forward policy than their administrative counterparts. In 1927 this possibility was one of the topics in a wide ranging letter from the Governor of Upper Nile Province to the Secretary of Education in which the following relevant points were made:

On the general question of principal (sic), I feel that there is a final dichotomy between the administrative policy of the Government (if I understood it right) and the objectives of the missions. At present I am doing my utmost to strengthen tribal organization, to enforce obedience to tribal law, and to establish the position of the chiefs. The ultimate authority on which all these rest is tribal religion... ritual is necessary to tribal life....A chief of the land has to perform certain rites in order to be such a chief and the rites are rites of Nuer religion....If he became a Christian he could not consistently perform these rites and would therefore lose his position as chief. [32]

     This essentially conservative, even reactionary, opposition to the broadening of identity in the South continued into the 1930s. The maintenance or recreation of tribal organizations as an instrument of Native Administration has already been discussed. [33] Rather than the schools creating a forward-looking contingent, the true


intention of Government seems to have remained oriented toward stasis. In 1936 we find The cultural side of native life is not entirely overlooked though it must be admitted that there is much yet to be done in discovering and adapting to school life what is worth preserving. [34]

     The practice of Indirect Rule or, as it was known in the Sudan, Native Administration, required stability. Since it was based on traditional patterns of intertribal and intratribal authority it could have only been conservative. A dynamic or even mildly liberal progressive policy of administration and education would have upset Native Administration schemes. [35]

     We continue to examine the case against the British and note the following facts. At the elementary level in schools in the South, the Rejaf Language Conference decreed that instruction and texts be in one of six group vernaculars. [36] Many linguistic minorities were thereby excluded from instruction in the language of the northern Sudanese and the British administrator. The percentage of school-leavers going on for secondary education outside the South was given in Chapter V. Neither Gordon College nor Kitchener Memorial College, both government secondary schools in Khartoum, accepted pupils from the mission schools in the South. If a boy were capable and nominated by his teacher and District Commissioner to attend secondary school he was sent to Makerere College in Uganda. [37] When it became clear that English was not permeating the South as a lingua franca, although schools and government pushed it, the proposal from Khartoum was neither one of the large group vernaculars


In the South nor Arabic but "some other African language." [38]

     This is another example of pragmatism overriding principle. The SPS personnel spoke English and Arabic, few of them were proficient in any of the group vernaculars. [39] Arabic was not acceptable because with it, in the minds of the British, went Islam. A group vernacular would have been difficult for two reasons. First, which one could be selected? None of the tribes would have accepted willingly the imposition of another tribe's vernacular on their students. Second, the British serving in the South would have been compelled to develop proficiency in a third language.

     In short, the policy tended to maintain and sharpen historical divisions and definitely did not look toward the North as a source for any elements which could have served to create a broader social consensus.

     Not all the British were unaware of the consequences of the educational and development policy being pursued. In 1936 after an inspection tour evaluating educational progress in bringing about the stated aims of the Southern Policy, we learn that:

The standard of education is ... low; perhaps that is to be expected and does not matter very much at present; but what does matter is that there is no prospect of any real progress if things.are allowed to remain as they are now.... At the moment much good and malleable human material is being cast...in an indifferent mould, and, in the important sphere of education, it cannot be contended that the native of the South is getting the square deal to which he is entitled.

     Later on in the same document the charge is even more sharply defined:


The chief defect is the more or less complete absence of trained native teachers. The cart has been .put before the horse; there has been a rush to provide cheap local minor government servants before the educational tree has had time to take firm root. [40]

     At the same time Assistant Secretary of Education Williams was presenting this blunt indictment, criticism was also coming from the Foreign Office. Many of the British who served in the Sudan contend that the Foreign Office never viewed the Sudan in terms of the country's own interests but only in terms of a lever which could be employed to keep Egyptian politics in the region off balance. It was in this context that the excerpt from the following minute was written:

Moreover the policy is a little questionable vis-a-vis Egypt. Perhaps this does not matter, but I should call attention to the fact that it is deliberately directed against the religion of the other partner in the Condominium. That is no doubt why all these reports (on the progress of Southern Policy) are marked "Secret." [41]

     Nor was this the only Foreign Office comment in that year. In the minutes of a meeting convened in the Foreign Office of representatives from Khartoum and their Whitehall counterparts, the following prediction was made:

In fact the Sudan Government have, it seems to me, abidcated entirely to the missionaries in the educational field. I cannot believe that this is sound, and I think that the Sudan Government should be asked when they propose to intervene themselves. Their policy is dangerously like a movement along the path of least resistance (and minimum expense). They may have to pay heavily one day. [42]


     The arguments by the Sudan Government managed to dissuade the Foreign Office from interfering. The most outspoken advocates of continuing the educational policy of the government in the late 1930s were the Governor-General, Sir Stewart Symes, the Civil Secretary, Douglas Newbold, and the Director of Education, Sir Christopher Cox. None of these men had much experience in the South and were defending a system geared to goals which, as the Williams Report shows, were not being realized. They succeeded in preserving mission education but had little idea of the realities of southern needs and deficiencies, especially in the realm of education. [43] This lack of experience did not dampen the political commitment. In his memoirs the Governor-General explained why he felt the missions should remain:

Christian missions have often been represented as lighthouses whose beams have dispelled the gloom of African darkness. I would suggest another allegory. I see these mission centers as so many windows, opened by pious hands, through which the primitive Africans may look to discover a world greater than their expectations, and find a hope far beyond their imaginings .... Meanwhile African missionaries of all denominations carry on as best they can, consolidating their advanced sections of a civilized front. [44]

     This of course suggests an essentially parochial view of the relative merits of missionary versus African culture and also raises the question of the political future. If the Governor-General saw the African component as so far down the scale of development, was he really committed to a policy which ultimately foresaw the achievement of separate but equally developed Arab and African


components of a independent political entity? Resistance to secularization also came from the missions. In 1941 the possibility of establishing a government secondary school (there were none in the South) in Upper Nile Province led to the followIng memorandum from the District Commissioner to the Province Governor.

.. it is likely to be rejected by the Roman Catholics from a fear of the heretical influences of a non-sectarian school, and by the C.M.S. on the grounds that the government may be subsequently forced by increased infiltration of Islam in the South to modify the Christian bias of the school. It is surely apparent that Moslems and Christians... must achieve an understanding tolerance of each other's way of rife; what better way to this ideal than in a non-sectarian school under a broad-minded Christian headmaster? [45]

     The following thoughts are reiterated in concluding the case against the British. Before 1942 there was no realization in anyone's mind that the British tenure in the Condominium was finite. Their sense of time was open-ended and it was felt that policies then in force would have created the conditions for independence by the end of the century. Although the Southern Policy memorandum was written so that the South would be developed according to its own "genius," no one seems to have been committed to this-before Robertson reversed the Policy in 1946. It was simply too early for this to have taken effect. It was only by the mid-1930s that the Government was able to recruit its southern staff locally. Language policy was divisive; the one likely lingua franca, Arabic, was unacceptable because of its connection with Islam. If there were


any plans to move toward a national consensus they were either so vague or futuristic that they have not been recorded. The fostering of a separate identity in the South would have continued to prevent such a consensus. British and missionary horizons were short: small numbers, unknown diseases, difficult vernaculars, an in hospitable climate and sheer distance, all of these factors compelled them to deal with the South on a day-to-day basis. The identity of the South was preserved at its tribal level by political conservatism, the needs of Native Administration, and Christian missionary repugnance for Islam. As the North developed a broader identity which centered on Khartoum, the South remained as the British felt it had been when they arrived. The Southern Policy not only arrested the faint hope of achieving southern equality with the North, it caused deterioration and regression. As a result, there was no real progress toward even a regional identity in the South before the end of World War II. The divisions which had existed were the basis for the British Southern Policy. Accepting the South as a separate and distinct region, the British enacted civil and educational policies which preserved and emphasized that separateness.

     In considering the post-independence tragedies of both the Southern Sudan and south-eastern Nigeria, it must be accepted that no British administration, handling the tense final pro cess of colonial emancipation, could have re-made situations which resulted from hasty frontier-making in the malleable Africa of the preceding century. [46]

"Hasty frontier-making" was not what caused the "post-independence"


failure of national integration in the Sudan. The British treated the Condominium as if it contained two Sudans. That a policy which maintained this dichotomy could have ever produced an independent political entity defies one's sense of logic.

     In all fairness it must be pointed out that by the early 1940s some of the practices mentioned were being rectified. In 1936 the lingua franca issue was once again debated and Arabic was now being proposed as a possibility. The fear of Islamic fanaticism seemed to be finally receding. In 1939 mission educated boys were finally allowed entry into Gordon College. [47]

     By 1945 it was apparent to Douglas Newbold that change had to come soon.

On 10 January (1945) he lectured on Makerere at the Cultural Center. "It went well" he wrote to Cox, "tho the educated Sudanese resent our sending the Southern boys there and not to Gordon College." [48]

     Unfortunately, Newbold died before he could act on his awareness of the growing pressures and his successor, Robertson, lacked his creative vision and sense.

The Case Against the. Missions

     The missions were in the South to convert the southern Sudanese to Christianity. If the Government imposed conditions on this activity, they were only accepted to the degree necessary to allow the missions to continue their primary vocation. Two of the conditions imposed are quite important in considering whether they played a part in the failure of national integration to the Sudan. The first condition was the Sphere System. [49] While the Southern Policy maintained the North-South divisions, the Sphere System


prevented the emergence of a southern identity by creating sectarian divisions which sometimes reinforced, sometimes complicated existing tribal divisions. The second condition was the monopoly which the missions held over education in the South. According to the Southern Policy, mission education was to train locally recruited students for government service and raise the level of political sophistication in the South so the North would not be able to dominate the nation when it achieved independence at some future date. The questions which must be answered in summing up the case against the missions include the following: Did the missions know and understand the Southern Policy? Were they aware that this Policy charged them with the important task of training a competent political elite in the South? Did they realize that North-South separation would one day yield a unified nation? Would they support a government policy which conflicted with their principles?

     In his most scholarly work, M. O Beshir contends that mission education in support of the Southern Policy was the prime cause for the subsequent failure of national integration. His information is correct but partial and he has subjected it to a biased rather than objective interpretation. The simplicity of his analysis is not supported by the evidence. In finding the root cause of the problem of national integration, he makes the following assertion:

Arabic was excluded from the schools and English was made the official language of education. The curriculum and teaching methods varied from one missionary school to another but all of them emphasized the


teaching of Christianity and the use of English as the medium of instruction. [50]

     Beshir then alleges that these factors led to the sense of suspicion and hostility that erupted into the "Southern Problem" after 1956. He finds the British and missionaries to be the main factors in the creation of the problem. Arabic was used in mission schools in Wau throughout the period, where neither English nor a group vernacular were suitable. [51]

     It is true that zeal often outweighed tolerance and that missionaries did engage in questionable activities. They did perpetuate memories of the slave trade although, as pointed out in Chapter V, the memories lived in the persons of emancipated slaves and continuing slave raids well into the 1930s. [52]

     The government had not started the educational enterprise with high expectations as this excerpt from a 1929 report suggests:

(a) The Roman Catholics ... are disruptive of tribal life and discipline... education poor and merely a means to conversion.
(b) United Presbyterian (American) Mission is squalid, of low standard, with some good elements, but too impregnated with the atmosphere of the middle-West. [53]

     Until the late 1930s the poor quality of mission education and its subordination to evangelical pursuits seemed to satisfy the political officers In the SPS. The Roman Catholics evidently remained involved in secular affairs "beyond their jurisdiction" throughout their tenure. [54] Whole files are devoted to this in the Central Records Office. in Khartoum. While the quality may have been poor, the direction fuzzy and the oversight vague, it seems


that the general tone was a willingness to give the government what the missions understood was expected - a little English, some civics, a lot of handiwork and little else. [55] Evangelism may have been important, but a more passive spirit crept in during the 1930s. Beshir claims that the raison d'etre of mission support for the Southern Policy was the goal of blocking the spread of Islam and eliminating Islam and Islamic influences from the South. This may have been, yet one can find note after note in various mission archives lamenting an almost total lack of any attempts to convert Muslims. The missions felt they worked in a field circumscribed by government conditions. In fact they coexisted with Muslims in Wau and Juba throughout this period which causes one to question Beshir's claims. One must also recall that there were few Muslims in the South to convert. [56]

     Let us now examine the conduct of mission education from the perspective of contributions made either to or against the evolution of a regional or national consensus. Were they in any way committed to increased political awareness? Did they comprehend the future or were they merely agents of Christian conversion?

The missionaries appear anxious to conform to advice and suggestion owning to the wish to keep on the right side of Government that they may be able to maintain and extend their field of proselytism, but the good of the people themselves, the aims of government policy, the retention of tribal sanctions and customs, the cause of education, such things are not treasured in their hearts. They seem to despise the native and so have no belief in him or his future. [57] (emphasis added)

     Evidently this critic, Assistant Secretary of Education Williams, did feel there was some likelihood that the conduct of the Southern


Policy was destined to have some influence on future development. In his remarks on the C.M.S. schools visited, he was even more direct in his analysis.

It cannot be said that they (C.M.S.) are earning their grants .... Hitherto insufficient control has been exercised over them; they may well have been misled by our silence on the subject of their shortcomings. But the risk of raising their antagonism must be taken, for the existing state of affairs is fatal to the development of a wise and farsighted policy. [58]

     The Roman Catholics came in for criticism in that they were not producing suitable teachers in their normal schools. This was often explained as a product of their jealousy over sharing the message they were called upon to teach with lay Africans. They were parochial, racist, and ethnocentric, often describing their southern students as "savages." [59] Quite possibly they were impeding the progress of teacher-training for their own reasons.

     The problem of qualifications exercised many of the critics and resulted in the Cox Reforms of 1938. It seems to have become a more pressing concern as the financial situation improved, the European situation deteriorated, and Egypt began exerting pressure.

..next to the dearth of trained native teachers, the most disturbing feature is the European missionaries general attitude towards education. Many of them are neither interested therein nor have any understanding or appreciation of the need for technique in its execution. [60]

     Add to the above this thought:

The task of the pedagogue is often lightly esteemed .... Yet in Africa this, as in so many matters, "things are different In Africa," and its variety and scope are in some ways greater than In England. As to its variety, one has to teach every kind of subject (ex-


cept, as is too all likely, that in which one has specialized), irrespective of whether one knows anything about it or not. [61]

     Criticisms could go on and on. The curriculum was faulty, staffing was inadequate, qualifications were deficient, and the emphasis was all wrong. The final criticisms from the Williams Report leave one with the impression that to continue funding the missions after its vetting would be simply a waste of scarce government funds.

Undue emphasis is given to religion and too much importance is apt to be attached to the purely literary subjects of the curriculum .... Lack of funds, too, has had a hampering effect. The C.M.S. are hopelessly under-staffed. The Roman Catholics are alien: alike to the rulers and the ruled .... Religion to the missionary comes first: this we accept. The present complaint ... is that religion is pursued almost to the exclusion of sound method in education. [62]

     The Williams Report.did not cause a termination of government support. The appointment of Christopher Cox, an Oxford Don, as the first non-political Director of the Education Department may have been one of its positive results. Cox brought a professional concern to education and a sharp and analytical mind was turned to the task of upgrading the government's efforts. Two highly informative reports were produced by Cox, one as Director of Education after a lengthy inspection tour of the South with Symes, the Governor-General, in 1937, and the second as an invited expert on a tour of the Empire as a Colonial Office trouble-shooter in 1943-1944. Cox's 1937 report is generally forthright to the point of bluntness and critical of the missions. An added dimension emerges in Cox's report and probably reflects the growing Foreign


     Office concern with developments in Abyssinia.

1. The general education provided is at present most rudimentary in character except at the two intermediate schools, neither of which begins to approach secondary standards....
4. Our objections to the existing Roman Catholic establishment in the Southern Sudan - omitting any Anglican bias - are political and technical, and concerned with manifest deficiencies of Italian nationals...who are neither culturally nor temperamentally well qualified to exercise virtually exclusive control of an educational system in a country whose administration is to be inspired by British concepts .... They train subordinates and not responsible clerks or skilled workers. [63]

     Since the Roman Catholics were in a large majority and this was the tenor of their effort, the absence of a well-formed political elite after World War II comes as less of a surprise than it might. Subordinates would not be much use in helping the South to stand on its "own feet" against the North. What is difficult to accept is the failure of the government to exert effective pressure on an admittedly unsatisfactory effort in order to bring it around. Year after year the same complaints appear. The missions were failing to groom a southerner capable of dealing with their northern counterpart but were the missionaries the culprit? When the complaints were brought to the attention of the particular mission group, they were usually communicated to either the overall head of that group's activities or to their Education Secretary. Just as the Khartoum officers in the Education Department rarely acted on Inspector's reports from the South, so the heads of the missions or their Education Secretaries rarely communicated complaints to the specific missionary who was the


subject of the complaint. The Inspectorate and the provincial government in the South were both undermanned and overextended. Time and money were scarce, conditions were difficult and education was not a paramount concern. The same held for the missionaries. They too were stretched thin, overworked, and more concerned with their primary vocation - evangelization. It should come as no surprise then that these continuing criticisms often failed to work down into the system far enough to rectify the problem. In 1938, after both the Williams and first Cox Reports, we learn that years of inspection, complaint, and failure of communication between the Government and the missions, these were the results:

Broadly speaking, the present position is that (i) there are only three or four missionaries in the whole field who have had the necessary training to undertake more than the simplest educational work; (ii) except for a handful of native teachers recently trained by a mission educationist at the Loka intermediate school, the native teachers are ill-equipped for their work; (iii) the Bush schools, instead of providing a simple but organized course, closely related to environmental needs and designed for the ultimate raising of the spiritual and intellectual life of the community, appear to have no organization and little continuity of existence...in the C.M.S. area at any rate, the absence of any plans for the future, after so many years of effort, may result in handicapping the development of the native communities by a one-sided development of educational facilities, and should no longer be overlooked. [64]

     Lack of concern for the future, failure to organize, no qualified teachers, no effective teacher training, and a continued commitment to evangelization before education, all of these criticisms were almost ten years old. The "handicapping of the development of


the native communities" mentioned toward the end of the quotation, suggests that the critic was as unconcerned about the creation of a southern consensus as were the missionaries for if communities remained the level of concern then a strong and unified South would be impossible. Instead of finally taking matters in hand, the government encountered

World War II's unanticipated demands on manpower and development funds and whatever might have happened was either cancelled or postponed for the duration. As a result, in 1942 "Mr. Janson-Smith, Inspector of Education, visited all missions on the East Bank. The standard of the schools is I fear deteriorating." [65]

     The results of all this inefficient, bungling, and disorganized educational activity over the 16-year period from 1930 to 1946 were sadly deficient. The Government and the missions frequently spoke and wrote about education but for all the concern generated during the period, very little concrete progress was produced. In his 1944 report, Cox asserts:

As almost everywhere in Africa, the prominence of missions in education in the Southern Sudan is putting a brake upon the educational progress of the African, owing to education being far too often a secondary objective, the inefficiency of many missionaries, staffing difficulties ... denominational rivalries, etc. In present conditions in the Southern Sudan this is a serious problem. [66]

     Tracing the pattern of missionary activity from 1930 to 1946, let us examine the record in order to ascertain whether Cox is correct in his assessment. Were the results as negative as


he suggests and were the objectives of the missionaries the cause for a lack of progress in the South. In the early years the missionaries do seem to have had little concern for the political aspects of educating the southerner. They were not concerned with the detribalization of their students nor with the likelihood of creating a marginal subgroup educated away from the traditional societies but with no access to the British Governmental sector. The two most important results were: (1) a decline in the quality of their intake as tribes sent those boys they did not mind losing, and (2) a growing contingent of sullen town boys living on the fringes of the provincial centers and disrupting as often as they assisted the performance of administration. Many of the educated unemployed developed into chronic alcoholics and alcoholism became a serious problem in Wau and Juba. [67] Both the British and the missionaries began to realize that the schools' products were not being reabsorbed by southern society. The missions, however, refused to alter their programs or objectives. As government concern grew, the missions appeared to accept and respond to these concerns, but

..they take little or no action to put the same into practice, sheltering behind their own and consequently their native teachers' ignorance of such matters whilst they make lack of time and lack of none the constant burden of their complaint. [68]

     A more direct assessment occurs in the press campaign waged In the Egyptian press in 1937 against the Southern Policy. The effect of this campaign on Whitehall and the Khartoum Govenment


has been discussed in Chapter ill. It becomes apparent that the nationalism which the Graduates Congress was to develop took some of its anti-Southern Policy, anti-missionary spirit from Egypt.

     After complimenting the missions for their service in the humanitarian field, we read: "...but the fact should not be lost sight of that the principal object of missionaries is religious; and their education contains nothing which tends to strengthen national or racial bonds." [69] This was true in 1937 and remained true until the British departure. The missionaries were not aware of the need to create an infrastructure of educated but unalienated southerners. They did not see beyond the schools to the future of the community from which they were taking their students and to which they should have been returning them as leaders. The missionaries should have heeded the Egyptian correspondent who wrote:

Official circles state that the great majority of the natives of the Southern Sudan are pagans and primitives. Admitting this fact we enquire whose duty it is to educate and enlighten those pagans in order to prevent their being severed from their brethren in the Northern Sudan, and in order to prevent the creation in the South of two separate .e and distinct races ... differing in language and religion. To leave missionaries in their present activities will undoubtedly lead to dividing the country into two parts. [70]

     This is a misstatement of history, but a fairly accurate description of the problem that the missionaries were perpetuating. The two groups had never been "brethren" unless one considers a Cain and Abel relationship and the only ties that had existed were those of dominance and enslavement from the North. What was happening was


the maintenance of historical divisions by an unimaginative, politically naive missionary establishment with little or no policy guidance from the government. This failure to comprehend policy was never solved. [71] Cox saw that "a grave danger to the successful working out of that policy (Southern Policy) is presented by their evangelical and educational activities alike." [72] The other divisive issue raised in the Egyptian quotation, that of internal split within southern society, was also recognized by Cox. Here the missionaries can be seriously faulted. True, the South was a tribal mixture with long historical differences but it seems the introduction of Christianity, rather than instilling a sense of fraternity and community, in fact created further complications. Not only was the South prevented from achieving any sort of balance with the North as far as identity goes, but

..the Fathers show little concern for the dangers of detribalization...a recent... article on the wearing of charms ... urged its readers to remember that "Christianity is now your tribe. [73]

     The missionary achievements were limited. Their concern for conversion over education blinded them to the goals of the Southern Policy. They suffered from scarce resources, lack of unity, limited manpower, poor qualifications, ignorance of the specific terms of the Southern Policy, and a failure of vision. They did educate those Southerners who rose to positions of leadership after 1946 but their numbers were pitifully few and their popular base was almost nonexistent. In their own words one can see the confusion and shortsightedness which characterized their efforts. In a retrospective


comment introducing the American Mission's plans for education in the South from 1951 onwards, the following evaluation of the results of the previous 30 years described that group's achievements.

1. We have detribalized and made useless to either Church or their own people a large group of boys.
2. We have sent a large number of ill-educated boys into government positions where they have been neither a credit to us, nor to God, but boys who have been a definite hindrance to the working of God's spirit in the lives of people who might otherwise have been saved...
3. We have socialized our system in which we practically guarantee all graduates a position either with the mission or the government and thus make all our products dependent on us....
4. Our whole educational program ... has become government-centric, and. must irrevocably be under our present system of government sponsorship and control. [74]

     The C.M.S. too began to go through the self-evaluation process and by 1944 the sense of change which had been brought on by the war was making an impression on them. They were coming to realize that their days were numbered. The General Secretary in his annual message from the Sudan advised his readers that

The sandgears in the Sudan are running out. As a Society we have about ten years ahead of us in which to establish as quickly as possible a strong African Christian Church, able to stand on its own feet, to educate public opinion, and to hold its own against pressure from the Moslem North .... Much must be done in a short time. [75]

     The Rev. O. C. Allison in a wide-ranging interview felt that the missions, especially the C.M.S., were


training them for life, we didn't want to detribalize them. They responded deeply to the Gospel .... We did refer to the slaving days in teaching History although the government inspectors advised against it. This left a bad mark .... The missions did produce leadership. Joseph Laqu told me he learned three things: 1. discipline, 2. to pray, read our Bibles and love God and 3. to dig. He said "we were prepared to go out in the world to seek our salvation".... The mission school graduates fought to make sure their children and grand-children would live in the freedom they had learned they had. [76]

     The Roman Catholics tend toward the more proprietary and paternalistic view remarked on earlier in this chapter. Fr. Santandrea, the most veteran of those surviving, felt that he was there to

...teach them a job, now to live in a decent world...separation was the only way to deal with the situation after the Reconquest.... more leaders would have been turned out if we had been left alone, our instruction was better earlier, later our hands were tied by teaching only up to secondary school then government sent them to Uganda or hired them. There were more Southerners qualified for Sudanization than were given posts. [76]

     His associate, Fr. Bano, provides more detail:

... in the beginning we were in the South mainly for conversion, but also some teaching ... the teachers were part of the plan to separate the South from the North.... Yes, we were aware of the Southern Policy... we didn't favor allowing the South to fall to the North ... Roman Catholics were always on the lookout for the spread of Islam in Africa .... We felt the Shilluk were the real barrier to Islam, they despise everyone ....Leadership took a long time, it wasn't until the 1930s that we could get people to school. We tried to get the British to compel attendance but some of them wanted things to stay backward. [77]


     To summarize the case against the missions - for 16 years, a small group of Christians, predominantly Roman Catholic Italians, had a monopoly over education in the South. In return for government subsidies, they were to train administrative and medical personnel for local government service. At the same time, they were to educate the children in the South to such a degree that they would be able to meet the North as coequal members of a unified nation when both components were merged at some time in the future. These were men of good will whose self-image was that of the evangelist. They had accepted an assignment which they clearly did not understand. The trained staff were in place by the early 1940s, but the politically sophisticated leadership elites who were to resist any northern exploitation or enslavement hardly existed. Support and guidance from the Government were minimal, criticism was sometimes gratuitous and often the result of ignorance on the part of the critic. Three hundred men trying to teach a few thousand children had little impact on the flow of events. If the failure of national integration did result from the British Southern Policy, then the culpability of the missionaries is in the nature of an accomplice, not a perpetrator.

Final Judgment

     In 1946 Sir James Robertson decided to terminate the Southern Policy. This was not a popular decision with the British serving in the South and in June, 1947, a conference was held in Juba to assess the sentiment of tribal leaders in the South as to the


decision. By mid-1955 North-South relations had degenerated into the civil war which ended in 1972. A national consensus had not been developed and national integration had failed. Were the British Southern Policy and the Christian missions involved in its implementation responsible for this failure?

     The intensely insular and conservative nature of tribal society in the South was now more vulnerable to change than the British realized. A liberal education would alienate the boy from his tribal world and he in turn could serve as a catalyst for further change. The Sudan Government felt duty-bound to educate but failed to realize that even a bit of education was likely to unbalance traditional values and relationships. Two different sectors of southern society were likely to be competing for leadership as the period drew to a close. When the decision to terminate the Southern Policy was announced, neither had won out over the other. The educated sector was neither large nor established enough to have any substantial effect on tribal society. The other sector, traditional leaders, lacked the education necessary to guide their people to equality and unity with the North.

     The mission-educated intelligentsia were rejected by their tribes - they were not much better than outlaws - yet the British expected them to lead the South to equality and unity with the North.79 Neither the new intelligentsia nor the traditional leadership were prepared for Robertson's decision. They shared an xenophobic fear of the North which was based on their memories of the days of the Turkiyya and Mahdlyya and had been nurtured in some of the schools,


especially the Roman Catholic ones. [80]

     By 1946 the British had to deal with two conflicting elites in the South, the educated and the traditional. In terms of numbers, the educated were hopelessly outnumbered. If conditions in the tribal societies had begun to change, their small numbers might not have prevented them from having some influence on the future. Apparently, this was not the case; little, if any, change in conditions could be discerned at the tribal level.

     At present any idea of federation or financial responsibility is beyond their (Dinka) comprehension. In spite of more clothes among the Dinkas of Renk and their close contact with the Arabs, they retain fully their tribal characteristics and customs. [81]

     Could the conflict between these two elites be resolved in time to meet the challenge of dealing with the North? Obviously not, and this had become apparent to some members of the Sudan Political Service before Robertson's decision.

It would be a tragedy for the South if the present generation of southern government officials should be rushed off their feet in later years by a later generation of politically conscious but immature young hot-heads who regarded their elders as undeveloped and out of date old fogies .... There are already signs that the younger educated generation is groping for something intangible. In the next decade the manifestations of political and social consciousness in the Northern Sudan and particularly in East Africa will have an increasing effect on the educated Southern Sudanese. In my view something should be done at once to prepare him for greater responsibility and for the shocks of a rapidly changing scene. [82]

     This had been written in 1946, before the Juba Conference.


     One sympathizes with the sentiment but laments the perspective - the author was still thinking in terms of "later generations," yet one decade later the British were gone. Southern society had not been changed significantly from the situation inherited by the British in 1898, yet this conservative, tribally organized region with a few thousand mission-educated young people was about to be tossed into the political arena with its historical enemy. The Southern Policy had been designed to prevent exploitation of the South by the North when they did come together, but it was becoming increasingly obvious that the policy had not been successful. To consider the termination of the Southern Policy immediately after World War II seemed premature to some of the British who felt that if amalgamation failed, they would stand accused:

In conclusion I wish to sound a warning. Educated Southern opinion must be taken into consideration when formulating a policy... The number of educated Southerners is still small but most are government officials. They are at the present time discontented with their conditions of service and consider that the government has let the South down in allowing it to remain undeveloped for so long. Both these grievances are indisputable. These people unless nursed carefully now will be a source of trouble in the future when their numbers increase and their opinions and actions are concerted. [83]

     At the end of World War II and before the Robertson decision there were internal divisions in the South, an alienated educated elite, growing hostility toward British policy, and a strong residual fear of the North. Thus, after 16 years of Southern Policy, the main change which can be perceived is that the South's chances of


meeting the North on an equal footing had been reduced, not improved. [84]

     If the British were aware of the gross shortcomings of the educational system, what did they see as the future of the South after the war? As has been previously discussed, the decision to reverse the Southern Policy was taken by the Civil Secretary, Sir James. Robertson. What evidence did he rely on in formulating this extremely important change in the status quo? Unfortunately, he is virtually the only person on record in explanation of this act. Much of what he has written must be read with the realization that lifelong friends condemned his decision and Sudanese critics blame him for the civil war. His memoirs, written in 1974. must have been influenced by these facts. According to Robertson, by the end of the war:

..the Northern Sudanese and the Egyptians had begun to blame the Sudan Government openly for the situation in the South. Opposition focused not only on the Closed Districts Ordinance, but also on such aspects of policy as the exclusion of the South from the Advisory Council and the refusal to allow the Council even to discuss matters concerning the South. Further criticism was directed at the teaching and official use of English and local vernacular languages in preference to Arabic; the sending of students for higher education to Uganda rather than Gordon Memorial College, Khartoum; and above all the absence of Muslim Missions in an area where Christian proselytizing was encouraged. In addition remarks made casually and unofficially about possible amalgamation of the Southern Sudan and Uganda were seized upon and given much more authority than such ballons d'essai deserved. [85]

     Sir James is definitely stretching the point In his last


sentence for, as has been shown in Chapter III, much more than a trial balloon had been floated concerning separation of the South and a Uganda link. [86] Generally one senses that he knew little about conditions in the South and reacted to non-southern pressures in the decision he made. The essence of this decision and the tone of its reception by members of the Political Service in the South are found in the relevant appendices of another of M. O. Beshir's books. [87] The effect of the decision was to place a final quietus on any further separation schemes, to encourage southern schools to send their students to Gordon College instead of Uganda, for secondary education, and to remove pay and assignment restrictions on northerners serving in the South and, theoretically, southerners serving in the North. The Closed Districts Ordinance and Southern Policy were dead letters. Responding to a difficult situation, an unimaginative man committed a serious error in judgment. As was pointed out in Chapter II, he later privately admitted as much to friends. Now we learn that

The policy of the Sudan Government regarding the Southern Sudan is to act upon the facts that the peoples of the Southern Sudan are distinctively African and Negroid, but that geography and economics combine (so far as can be foreseen at the present time) to render them inextricably bound for future development to the middle-eastern and arabicized Northern Sudan: and therefore to ensure that they shall, by educational and economic development, be equipped to stand up for themselves in the future as socially and economically the equals of their partners of the Northern Sudan in the Sudan of the future. [88]

     This decision ends the period considered in this work. Any


southern Governor, District Commissioner, or inspector of Education could and did tell him he was wrong. Thus, 16 years of unsuccessful policy were erased from the scene in response to Egyptian and northern Sudanese pressures sacrificing the future of the South without even consulting those painfully few indigenous and articulate leaders who had passed through the mission schools.

     National integration has not yet been achieved in the Sudan. The cases against the British and the missions have been presented. Are either or both guilty of creating and manipulating a situation which prevented its achievement or, as has been suggested, did they do nothing more than fit themselves into pre-existing relationships?

     The divisions between North and South pre-date the British entry. The linguistic, racial, religious and cultural differences had been recognized since the Turkiyya. The British inherited a situation which they accepted and did not change. As far as the missions are concerned, the main.issue which governed their activities was that of religion. Their participation in the Southern Policy was due to their repugnance for the Islamic faith. The only political significance of mission support of the Southern Policy was their tendency to view government unity schemes as Islamicization schemes. The spread of Islam had been stopped, unification of North and South would reopen the problem. Their opposition to Robertson's decision to reverse the Southern Policy was based on the fear that this would result In a Jihad launched from Khartoum which would overwhelm the South. A missionary participant in the


Southern Policy expressed this sentiment in these words: "Islam was the enemy." [89]

     In a quaint book published in response to the Sudan Government order expelling all missionaries in 1965, the Verona Fathers provide further illustration of this anti-Islamic bias. According to their reasoning, an early Governor-General (unnamed but no doubt either Maffey or Symes) stated that "the missions are our bulwark against Islam." This statement is followed by an excerpt from the expulsion decree which alleged that the missions "stood up as a bulwark in the path of National Integration." The book then goes on to contend that the northerners who were replacing the British, in government after World War II understood that the process of National Integration contained within it the process of lslamicization. According to the Verona Fathers, if the Sudan were to become independent on the basis of the immediate post-war situation, Islam would be inextricably linked to unity. Based on this assumption, the missionaries were enemies of national integration because they taught a faith which was opposed to Islam. Christianity, in this analysis, would equal separatism. [90] In the late 1940s it became apparent to some of the mission school graduates that there was some truth to the allegation that in the North, national integration and Islam went hand in hand. [91]

     Throughout their tenure in the South, the mission community was committed to one objective, proselytization and conversion. Whatever conditions were imposed on them were dealt with as they affected that commitment. Concern for social change, political


development, literacy beyond that necessary to read the Scriptures, the future of conservative traditional tribal societies under pressure from a more modern and sophisticated North; all of these were rarely considered and when they were it was by a tiny minority which hardly ever gave voice to its concerns. The missions did not cause the failure of national integration but they contributed to it. The spread of Christianity and the erosion of tribal beliefs as a consequence of that spread combined with a militant anti-islamic stance sharpened and deepened; the pre-existing lines of division. Beyond the issues of religious conflict and detribalization, it is difficult to find culpable fault with the missions. As suggested above, their guilt is more that of an accomplice than a perpetrator. As for the British:

There is a tendency now for both Northern and Southern Sudanese to lay the blame on the British for the fact that the southerner lags behind the northerner. This is reasonable up to a point. What is not reasonable is the southern claim that, had he been given a fair deal, he would now have been equal to, or even superior to, the northerner. He would have had a twenty-five year handicap at the least, from the obstinacy of his forebears. [92]

     The British inherited a divided Sudan as a result of the Reconquest. They proceeded to restore order and pacify the tribes in the South. "Care and maintenance" remained the primary objective of SPS personnel serving in the South throughout the period discussed herein. The Southern Policy recognized the pre-existing divisions and erected "bulwarks" to maintain them. Nothing was done during this 1930 to 1946 period to systematically develop and


organize southern tribal societies; the British could not agree on whether a Whipsnade or an effendiyya-led detribalized regional policy was to be the result. Their aims were limited, confused, and conservative. Lacking the requisite time, money and personnel, they drafted the missions into the conduct of policy as educators. The British knew the missionaries were not educators but seem to have felt that their obligation to educate southern leadership would be discharged through the provision of whatever low-quality, unprofessional teaching the missions might provide.

     The missionaries were not effective and the British who were concerned knew it. In addition to their own shortcomings, the missions did not have access to the best boys from the tribes. Those who might have been able to benefit the South if they had been educated were usually kept out of the schools. As late as 1942 we find a Dinka chief pleading that a young criminal be given a prison sentence rather than compulsory education because after prison he would not have been "lost to the tribe." [93]

     The Southern Policy did not produce southern leadership equal to the challenge of amalgamation with the North nor did it train sufficient administrative staff to move into executive positions in the government bureaucracy as Sudanization of the British staff began after World War II. Lack of leadership, tribal conservatism, a shortage of southern staff as the British began to consider reducing their staff -- all of these conditions characterized the


immediate post-war situation inherited by Robertson after Newbold's untimely death. The Southern Policy had not produced the anticipated results. Worse than that, it (Southern Policy) failed to produce a generation of Southern Intelligentsia loyal: to a creed higher than tribalism. It succeeded in making them anti-Moslem and anti-Northern without making them Southerners in any positive sense. [94]

     The general sense is correct although, as has been pointed out elsewhere in this work, the South had been anti-northern since the Turkiyya. It is safe to say that those southerners who came into contact with the missionaries tended to become anti-Muslim as well. What can be seen from the preceding summation is that the British did nothing to ameliorate pre-existing divisions, fears, and hostilities. They framed conservative policies designed to maintain these divisions. In fact, the policies not only maintained but further sharpened the divisions. This might not have been a serious error if they had instituted a massive, top-quality school system to raise the IeveI of sophistication and broaden the leadership base in the South. In this last respect they failed completely. As late as 1955, in the final annual report from the Governor-General before Independence, we learn:

..that when the missionaries were in almost exclusive control of education in the Southern Sudan from 1927-1946; they have, with very few but notable exceptions, failed to produce southern staff able or trained to assume executive or administrative positions. [95]

     The British preserved cleavages in North-South relations in the Sudan that prevented national Integration from taking place. They


did not create the fatal flaws but they also did nothing constructive toward smoothing them over. Their policies exacerbated and complicated an inherited situation. When they saw the future rushing down upon them, they fled. Robertson's decision to reverse the Southern Policy in 1946 increased the likelihood of conflict between the North and the South, and that is exactly what happened within a decade of that decision. Whether the North-South situation could have been improved under British rule is questionable, but the ignorance, arrogance, and pragmatism of the British and the missions fostered divisive and destructive tendencies which did result in the failure of national integration.




1. M. O. Beshir, Educational Development in the Sudan 1898-1956 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969); L. A. Fabunmi, The Sudan in Anglo-Egyptian Relations (London: Longmans Green and Co., Ltd., 1960 and M. A. Rahim, Imperialism and Nationalism in the Sudan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969).
2. In his preface Fabunmi openly states that while he is not Sudanese he is probably unable to approach the problem of British policy in the Sudan from an objective perspective.
3. M. A. Rahim, "The Development of British Policy in the Southern Sudan, 1899-1947" (collection of mimeographed documents presented at the Round Table Conference in Juba, 1965. Copy in Middle East Center, St. Antony's College, Oxford), preface.
4. L. A. Fabunmi, Sudan in Anglo-Egyptian Relations, Chapters I and II.
5. This point was raised several times by Beshir in conversations with the author during a number of informal meetings from January to June, 1976. He was expanding on the accusations made throughout his Educational Development in the Sudan 1899-1956.
6. Sir Stewart Symes, Tour of Duty (London: Collins, 1946), Sir James Robertson, Transition in Africa: From Direct Rule to Independence (London: C. Hurst & Co., 1974), K. D. D. Henderson, The Making of the Modern Sudan (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1953), J. S. R. Duncan, The Sudan's Path to Independence (Edinburgh: Wm. Blackwood and Sons Ltd., 1957 and P. M. Holt, A Modern History of the Sudan (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1917).
7. M. O. Beshir, The Southern Sudan: Background to Conflict (Khartoum: Khartoum University Press, 1970), pp. 37- 60.
8. Interviews with: K. D. D. Henderson in his home at Steeple Langford near Salisbury, England, on January 13, 1976; Sir Christopher Cox in his lodgings at New College, Oxford, on February 5, 9 and 27, 1976.; and T. R. H. (Richard) Owen in his home at Hadley, Herefordshire, England, on December 5-6, 1976.
9. Interview with G. N. Sanderson, author of A Study in the Partition of Africa: England., Europe and the Upper Nile. 1882-1899 (Edinburgh: Wm. Blackwood and Sons, Ltd., 1965) in his office at Royal Holloway College, University of London, on January 7, 1976. Also several Informal discussions with Richard Hill in his home at Oxford during the period September 1975 to June 1976. For published works on the South, see Richard Gray, A HIstory of the Southern Sudan--1839-1889 (London: Oxford


University Press, 1961), and Robert O. Collins, The Southern Sudan 1883-1898 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1962).
1O. Divide and rule is an accusation peculiar to the African critics. The idea was denied and rejected by the Sudan Political Service and southern Sudanese respondents interviewed. This was discussed at length in Chapter III.
12. Whipsnade was a famous wild animal park in England.
13. Khartoum, Central Records Office, Civil Secretary File 57, volume 2, no. 9 of May 8, 1932 (hereafter SGA File/volume/ number).
14. SGA Equatoria 1/4/16 of February 9, 1936 (hereafter Williams Report)
15. Report of the Governor-General on the Administration, Finances and Conditions of the Sudan for 1937 (Khartoum: McQuorgdale and Co. Ltd., 1937) p.137 hereafter: Governor-General's Report for...)
16. See Chapter Ill for discussion of this Egyptian agitation; NAME="note17">17. Elie Kedourie, Nationalism (London: Hutchinson and Co. Ltd., 1960), p. 83.
18. See Chapter III for details.
19. Great Britain, Public Record Office, Foreign Office File 371, volume 13865, number 1851 of July l, 1929. (hereafter PRO FO file, volume, number).
20. S.G.A. Civil Secretary 57/2/9 of May 8, 1932.
21. Until the middle of World War II this seemed the earliest possible time from a complete withdrawal of British personnel for the South.
22. George W. Shepherd, Jr., "National Integration and the Southern Sudan," The Journal of Modern African Studies, IV (1966), pp. 193-194.
23. C. E. Black, The Dynamics of Modernization (New York: Harper and Row, 1967), p. 48.
24. During a tour of the South in 1976 this had changed. Most of the southerners described themselves to the author as "East Africans."


25. Gabriel Almond and James Coleman, ed. The Politics of Developing Areas (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960), p. 279.25. During a tour of the South in 1976 this had changed
27. Shepherd, "National Integration," p. 194.
28. Ibid., pp. 194-198.
29. PRO F0 371.45986, no. 3128 of September 15, 1945.
30. Letter from K. D. D. Henderson to the author of February 29, 1976 in which. he quotes the minute by Newbold.
31. Interviews with George Janson-Smith in his home at Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, England, on January 14, 1976 and with Sir Christopher Cox, details supra, note 8.
32. SGA Upper Nile 1/14/119 of April 27, 1929.
33. See Chapter III, pp. 59-60.
34. Annual Report of the Education Department.for 1936 (Khartoum: McQuorgdale and Co. Ltd., 1936), . p. 26. hereafter Education Report for...)
35. G. Bakheit, "British Administration and Sudanese Nationalism" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University, 1966), Chapter VII. See also his "Native Administration in the Sudan and its Significance to Africa," in Sudan in Africa, ed. by Yusuf Fad] Hasan (Khartoum: Khartoum University Press, 1971), pp. 258-261.
36. Report of the Rejaf Language Conference (London: Sudan Government, 1928), p. 30.
37. American Mission in the Sudan, Minutes of Annual Meeting for 1931 (microfilm in the Archives of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Philadelphia, 1931), p. 267 (hereafter Presbyterian Minutes for...). Also Lillian Sanderson, "Educational Development in the Southern Sudan 1900-1948," Sudan Notes and Records, XLIII (1962), p. 114.
38. Education Report for 1934, p. 13.
39. Sir Harold MacMichael, Sudan Political Service (Oxford: Oxonlan Press, n.d.), pp. 4-5.


40. S.G.A. Equatoria 1/4/16 of February 9, 1936, pp. l-2 (hereafter Williams Report).
41. FO 371.20150, no. 5204 of June 4, 1936.
42. FO 371.20150, no. 3542 of October 13, 1936.
43. T. R. H. Owen, "Background to the Southern Sudan," Grass Curtain, I (August 1970), p. 7.
44. Sir Stewart Symes, Tour of Duty, pp. 248-249.
45. S.G.A. Upper Nile 1/15/128 of July 23, 1941.
46. Sir James Robertson, Transition, p. xiv.
47. Education Report for 1936, p. 28 and Presbyterian Minutes for 1939, p. 29.
48. K. D. D. Henderson, Making Modern Sudan, p. 430.
49. Discussed in Chapter IV.
50. M. O. Beshir, Educational Development, p. 52.
51. Interview with Fr. Stefano Santandrea in his lodgings at Verona Fathers House, Trastevere, Rome, on April 9, 1976.
52. Fr. Leonzio Bano, interviewed in the Missionari Comboniani Archives, Rome, on April 7-8, 1976. Also W. B. Anderson, "The Role of Religion in the Sudan's Search for Unity," in African Initiatives in Religion, ed. by David Barrett (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1971), P. 81.
53. Copy of a report written by the Governor of Upper Nile Province in June 1929 in "British Southern Policy in the Sudan," p. 7 (mimeographed).
54. R. O. Collins, "The Establishment of Christian Missions and Their Rivalry in the Southern Sudan," Tarikh, III (Jan.-March 1969), p. 96.
55. See Curriculum in Chapter VI.
56. Ibid. also M. O. Beshir, Educational Development, p. 33 and Presbyterian Minutes for 1933, appendix "Final Notes."
57. Williams Report, p. 12.
58. Ibid., p. 11.


59. Martin Parr, interviewed in his home at Hammersmith, London, on December 2 and 10, 1975 and January 27, 1976, brought out this point several times. Fr. Elias Toniolo, interviewed in his lodgings at Verona Fathers Hosue, London, on January 28, 1976 used the term "savage" interchangeably with "southerner."
60. Williams Report, p. 1.
61. Rev. G. F. Earl, "A School's Opportunity in the Southern Sudan," C.M.S. Outlook (1937), p. 152.
62. Williams Report, p. 1.
63. PRO FO 371.21998 no. 220 of January II, 1938. (hereafter Cox Report 1938).
64. S.G.A. Uncatalogued Education Department File, "Expansion of Education in the Southern Sudan," (Khartoum: Department.of Education, 1938), P. 34. (see bibliography for information on these files.)
65. Equatoria Province Monthly Diary, April 1942, p. 6. (copy in Sudan Collection, University of Khartoum).
66. PRO FO 371 41320 no. 15 of February 11, 1944 (hereafter Cox Report for 1944).
67. S. G.A. Aweil 1/1/4 of August 31, 1946. Also interviews with Richard Owen (details note 8 supra) and D. M. H. Evans in his club at Lymington, England on December 9, 1975
68. Williams Report, p. 8.
69. PRO FO 371.20870 no. 254 of June 4, 1937.
70. Ibid.
71. None of the missionaries interviewed had seen MacMichael's memorandum on Southern Policy nor had it been explained by their SPS counterparts in its entirety. Their knowledge of the policy was incomplete and second-hand.
72. Cox Report__ for 1937, p. 5.
73. Ibid., p. 7.
74. "Proposed Program of Education for the American Mission, Southern Sudan for 1951 and Onward," Presbyterian Archives of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Philadelphia, uncatalogued Sudan files.


75. Rev. W. S. Carey, "Challenge from the Sudan," C.M.S. Annual Report for 1944-1945 (London: Church Missionary Society, 1945), p. 19.
76. Rev. O. C. Allison interviewed at Inkpen Rectory, Inkpen, Berkshire, England, on January 21, 1976. Joseph Lagu was commander of the Anyanya during the civil war and is now the General Officer Commanding Sudan Defense Forces (South).
77. Santandrea interview.
78. Bano interview.
79. Lillian Sanderson, "Educational Development," p. 117. and S.G.A. Uncatalogued Department of Education Files, letter from Governor, Upper Nile Province to Director of Education of November 7, )935.
80. All the interviews with members of the Verona Fathers brought out this point.
81. Governor-General's Report for 1945, p. 191.
82. S.G.A. Aweil 1/l/4 of August 31, 1946.
83. S.G.A. uncatalogued Education Department Files, letter from District Commissioner, Jur River District, to Deputy Governor, Equatoria of January 2, 1947.
84. They couldn't meet them on the battlefield either since the warlike southern tribes, the Nuer; Azande, Dinka and Shilluk, had been disarmed and pacified by the late 1920s.
85. Robertson, Transition, p. 105.
86. See pp. 88-91 of Chapter III.
87. Beshir, Background, 119-135.
88. lbid., pp. 119-121.
89. Toniolo interview.
90. The Black Book (Verona: n.p. 1965), pp. 130-131.
91. Luigi Adwok, interviewed in his home in Khartoum on March 23, 1976. Bona Malwal, interviewed in his office in Khartoum on March 27, 1976. Also four southern Sudanese respondents who requested anonymity.


92. J. S. R. Duncan, Sudan's Path, p. 62. 93. Equatoria Province Monthly Diary, December 1942, p. 6. (copy in Sudan Collection, University of Khartoum).
94. J. Bakheit, "British Administration and Sudanese Nationalism, 1919-1939" (unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Cambridge, 1966), p. 219.
95. Governor-General's Report for 1955, p. 8.